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Workless Households for Regions Across the UK, 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 06 September 2012 Download PDF

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Liverpool has the highest percentage of workless households for the fourth year in a row

Between January and December 2011, Liverpool had the highest percentage of workless households (those which include at least one person aged 16 to 64 and no-one in work) with 31.6 per cent being workless. This was down slightly on the previous year when 31.9 per cent of households were workless.

Over the same period, South Teesside had the second highest percentage of workless households, up from a ranking of fourth a year earlier. Around 29.1 per cent of households in this area, which contains the authorities of Redcar and Cleveland plus Middlesbrough, were workless.

The highest percentage of workless households in Wales was in the Central Valleys, and this area was the third highest across the UK. Comprised of Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff, 28.7 per cent of households were workless.

Within Scotland, Glasgow City had the highest percentage of workless households and was the fourth highest across the UK. Around 28.7 per cent of households were workless in 2011 and this was the eighth consecutive year, since records began, that Glasgow, along with Liverpool were in the top five workless areas.

In recent years, Glasgow has fallen down the rankings since being at the top in 2006 and 2007. Although it fell down the rankings between 2007 and 2010, the percentage of workless households actually increased in Glasgow. This was because over the same period other areas in the UK had larger increases and overtook Glasgow. However, Glasgow has seen a fall in workless households between 2010 and 2011.

Top five areas workless households across the UK

Top five areas workless households across the UK
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

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The common link among the areas within the top five is that they were all heavily industrialised in the last century. Liverpool had a large manufacturing base and one of the UK’s largest docks, which have both been in decline since the 1970s. South Teesside has also seen a decline in the heavy industries that dominated the area in the last century.

The Central Valleys were once one of the UK’s largest coal producers, most of which no longer exists. Glasgow was once a major force in shipbuilding as well as other engineering but competition overseas has seen that decline since the 1960s. Finally Sunderland was also affected by the loss of shipbuilding and coal mining as seen is some of the other areas.

Top and bottom three workless areas in the UK, 2011

Top and bottom three workless areas in the UK, 2011
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

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In 2011, the lowest percentage of workless households in the UK were concentrated in the South of England along with one area in the North. Oxfordshire had the lowest percentage, at 8.0 per cent followed by Buckinghamshire, at 9.8 per cent. Both these areas have commonly had low rates of workless households since records began in 2004. East Cumbria was the area with the third lowest workless households in 2011 at 10.9 per cent.

Sickness or disability the main reason for being workless across the country

Sickness, both long-term and temporary, was the main reason given for not working by the people living in workless households across all the regions of England and countries of the UK, with the exception of the East of England. However this reason was far more common in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales compared with the regions in England.

In Northern Ireland of the people living in workless households, 39.1 per cent said they were not working because of sickness or disability. In Scotland, 34.1 per cent gave this reason with 32.6 per cent in Wales. Across the regions of England the lowest percentage not working because of sickness or disability was in the East of England where 22.7 per cent of people in workless households gave this reason.

Focusing on people in workless households who are studying, London had the highest percentage across the UK, partly explained by the many universities in the region. The South West and South East of England had the highest percentage of people aged 16 to 64 in workless households giving retirement as their reason for not working. This is partly explained in that both regions have a slightly higher than average age demographic.

North East

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in North East, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 South Teesside 29.1 26
2 Sunderland 28.2 27
3 Durham CC 25.3 44
4 Tyneside 24.0 70
5 Darlington 22.4 8
6 Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees 21.9 20
Lowest 7 Northumberland 20.5 20
 

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North West

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in North West, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Liverpool 31.6 50
2 Blackburn with Darwen 26.6 12
3 Blackpool 26.0 12
4 East Merseyside 24.7 36
5 Greater Manchester South 24.1 122
6 West Cumbria 23.0 19
7 Sefton 22.9 20
8 Wirral 22.1 22
9 Greater Manchester North 21.5 84
10 Lancashire CC 17.6 68
11 Cheshire West and Chester 17.2 19
12 Warrington 15.4 10
13 Cheshire East 12.4 15
Lowest 14 East Cumbria 10.9 9

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Yorkshire and The Humber

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in Yorkshire and the Humber, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Kingston upon Hull, City of 25.3 24
2 Bradford 24.0 40
3 Sheffield 23.2 45
4 Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham 22.7 59
5 North and North East Lincolnshire 21.0 21
6 Leeds 20.5 60
7 Wakefield 20.3 22
8 Calderdale and Kirklees 19.4 40
9 North Yorkshire CC 16.5 32
10 East Riding of Yorkshire 15.5 16
Lowest 11 York 14.9 10

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East Midlands

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in East Midlands, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Nottingham 27.0 29
2 Leicester 23.4 23
3 North Nottinghamshire 20.3 31
4 Derby 19.4 16
5 Lincolnshire 17.4 40
6 East Derbyshire 17.3 15
7 South and West Derbyshire 17.3 29
8 South Nottinghamshire 15.4 17
9 West Northamptonshire 14.8 20
10 Leicestershire CC and Rutland 14.1 31
Lowest 11 North Northamptonshire 13.4 14

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West Midlands

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in West Midlands, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Wolverhampton 27.5 21
2 Birmingham 26.4 89
3 Coventry 24.3 25
4 Sandwell 23.8 22
5 Stoke-on-Trent 23.7 20
6 Walsall 22.3 17
7 Telford and Wrekin 21.6 11
8 Worcestershire 18.3 34
9 Dudley 17.7 17
10 Herefordshire, County of 17.6 10
11 Staffordshire CC 16.6 45
12 Warwickshire 16.0 27
13 Solihull 15.3 10
Lowest 14 Shropshire CC 15.0 14

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East of England

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in East of England, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Luton 21.8 13
2 Southend-on-Sea 20.3 11
3 Thurrock 19.6 11
4 Peterborough 16.6 9
5 Suffolk 16.1 39
6 Essex CC 15.6 73
7 Norfolk 15.5 44
8 Central Bedfordshire 15.2 13
9 Cambridgeshire CC 14.2 29
10 Bedford 13.7 8
Lowest 11 Hertfordshire 12.9 47

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London

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in London, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Inner London - East 22.0 155
2 Inner London - West 21.5 90
3 Outer London - East and North East 18.9 100
4 Outer London - West and North West 15.2 88
Lowest 5 Outer London - South 15.0 60

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South East

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in South East, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Isle of Wight 26.5 11
2 East Sussex CC 20.9 34
3 Portsmouth 17.9 12
4 Brighton and Hove 17.8 16
5 Southampton 17.7 14
6 Kent CC 17.2 81
7 Medway 16.8 13
8 Milton Keynes 15.5 13
9 West Sussex 14.4 37
10 Hampshire CC 13.9 58
11 Berkshire 12.1 34
12 Surrey 11.6 44
13 Buckinghamshire CC 9.8 15
Lowest 14 Oxfordshire 8.0 17

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South West

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in South West, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Torbay 22.5 9
2 Bristol, City of 21.8 36
3 Plymouth 21.2 18
4 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 19.4 31
5 Somerset 17.5 29
6 Dorset CC 16.5 20
7 Swindon 16.2 11
8 Bournemouth and Poole 16.0 16
9 Devon CC 15.1 35
10 Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire 15.0 31
11 Gloucestershire 14.0 28
Lowest 12 Wiltshire CC 13.0 19

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Wales

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in Wales, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Central Valleys 28.7 27
2 Swansea 26.3 20
3 Gwent Valleys 25.3 27
4 Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot 24.7 22
5 Gwynedd 21.6 8
6 South West Wales 21.0 24
7 Conwy and Denbighshire 20.8 13
8 Monmouthshire and Newport 20.4 15
9 Isle of Anglesey 20.1 4
10 Powys 19.6 8
11 Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan 19.5 30
Lowest 12 Flintshire and Wrexham 17.8 16

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Scotland

 

Workless households by NUTS3 area in Scotland, January to December 2011

    Area Per cent Thousands
Highest 1 Glasgow City 28.7 66
2 East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire mainland 28.2 25
3 Eilean Siar (Western Isles) 26.3 2
4 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire 22.7 25
5 Dumfries & Galloway 22.3 11
6 North Lanarkshire 22.2 24
7 South Ayrshire 21.8 8
8 Clackmannanshire and Fife 21.6 31
9 Falkirk 20.5 11
10 Angus and Dundee City 20.4 18
11 Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae and Argyll & Bute 20.0 5
12 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh & Lomond 19.8 14
13 Edinburgh, City of 19.4 38
14 East Lothian and Midlothian 18.9 11
15 West Lothian 18.3 10
16 South Lanarkshire 17.7 19
17 Scottish Borders 16.7 6
18 Inverness & Nairn and Moray, Badenoch & Strathspey 15.3 9
19 Perth & Kinross and Stirling 15.2 11
20 Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire 13.3 22
21 Caithness & Sutherland and Ross & Cromarty 13.1 3
22 Orkney Islands 12.2 1
Lowest 23 Shetland Islands 7.7 1

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Background notes

  1. Households including at least one person aged 16 to 64.

  2. A workless household is a household that contains at least one person aged 16 to 64, where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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